Resident Evil – Code: Veronica / X (Dreamcast / PS2) Review

RE Code Veronica

So after a short detour, we resume our look at the core Resident Evil game timeline thanks to the on-going Live Action Movie to Game Marathon, thought at this point the games and movies have very little in common! Really, I should have just reviewed Code: Veronica X on the PS2, but I played through the Dreamcast version several times back in the day, but only played through X once (for the sake of the new cutscenes) so I felt I had to include it as well. That means I’ll be looking at both, and with the differences being so minimal it doesn’t really matter. Let’s take a look!

Background:

RE Code Veronica 1

It’s funny that it was only two games later, it felt like a lot longer for the two Redfields to meet up…

Resident Evil – Code: Veronica started off life as the real Resident Evil 3, with Nemesis being a side story, but after Sony kicked up a stink, Nemesis became Resi 3, while this game, a Sega exclusive (starting out on the Saturn before moving up to the Dreamcast) became simply subtitled instead. That’s why this game is still part of the core Resi game series, despite not having a number in its title.

The original Code: Veronica was released exclusively on the Dreamcast February 2000 in Japan and the US, and May 2000 in PAL regions. An updated version with new cutscenes was released under the title Code: Veronica X for the PS2 in 2001 (March in Japan, August in the US, and September in Europe), for the Gamecube in August 2003 in Japan, December 2003 in the US, and March 2004 for Europe, and finally it was ported to the PS3 and XBOX 360 in September 2011 in both the US and Europe, and March 2012 in Japan…

Gameplay:

RE Code Veronica 2

Steve shows off his duel wielding skills… to a pair of undead zombies.

While it looks visually improved over the original trilogy, not much has actually changed. The game still uses Tank Controls (the character moves in a circle, then forward in whichever way its facing), you walk or run, shoot or dodge zombies and other monsters, collect items, including healing items if you take damage, save at typewriters using ink ribbons and see a loading screen when you enter most doors. A key change here is that instead of choosing between our two playable characters, Claire and Chris Redfield, you start off as Claire, switch to Chris, then switch back to Claire again before a final switch for the finale. The story is split across two locations, so both times you do the initial exploration with Claire, including several bosses, then face several after-effects as Chris arrives late to the same place.

During Claire’s segments you’re often accompanied by Steve Burnside, and sometimes annoyingly, he can die in certain segments which will result in a game over. Add in duel wielding guns / machine guns and that’s it for new additions to the game.

There is a new side-mode called “Battle Mode”, where you have to survive chunks of the game world with infinite ammo weapons, unlocked by completing the game. You get to play as Steve and even Wesker in this game, though the latter only has a knife! You compete for rankings (“A Rank”, “S Rank”, that sort of thing), so it’s very similar to the Mercenaries mini-game from Nemesis, and future games…

Graphics and Sound:

RE Code Veronica X1

I found three screenshots for each version of the game, but they all look so similar I decided not to bother with telling you which is which…

This is where Code: Veronica differs from previous entries, as it has entirely CG backgrounds as well as character and enemy models, alongside a noticeable upgrade in graphics quality in general thanks to the Dreamcast’s better specs, lighting created by fire, for example, looks great, casting shadows all over the place. That being said, it looks far worse than the two Gamecube games, which used pre-rendered backgrounds and lighting to far better effect. There is also a full CGI intro movie, but that looks dated now…

The X version looks pretty much the same, despite Capcom saying it had “enhanced visuals” over the original…

Soundwise the game is good, creepy but subtle background music, great soundeffects. The voice acting is fine, again nothing outstanding, but good enough (though some of Steve’s deliveries leave a lot to be desired, it has to be pointed out…)

Story:

RE Code Veronica X3

“I’m sorry, my brother was doing what while I was asleep?”

Claire Redfield, still searching for her brother, is captured by Umbrella and placed on their prison island known as Rockford… er, Island. Of course, Rockford soon suffers from an outbreak of the T-Virus, and alongside fellow prisoner Steve Burnside she eventually escapes from not only the monsters, but Alfred Ashford, the odd aristocratic Umbrella member who misses his twin sister so much he dresses up as her and talks to her… Creepy. Shortly after Claire left, Chris arrives searching for her, and faces several of the same horrors Claire just did before leaving to the same second Umbrella base in the Antarctic that Claire and Steve had no choice but to crash to…

In said Antarctic base, Claire and Steve face more horrors at the hands of a T-Virus outbreak, and Wesker, long thought dead, is not only alive and on the island, but has virus-enhanced powers now. Chris soon arrives and actually manages to reunite with Claire at last, the two of them taking out Alexia Ashford, who has mutated thanks to the T-Veronica virus. Oh, and Steve died. That was a thing. Wesker took his body with him to help his own research, but not before having a showdown with his old buddy Chris (in the X version only, mind you…)

And that’s that! I quite liked the insanity of the Ashfords, and loved the return of Wesker. He was me and my friends favourite part about the original game…

Thoughts Then:

RE Code Veronica X2

Steve is embarrassed over his Dad’s behaviour.

Really enjoyed my first play through of Code: Veronica. New Chris story was good, and the return of Wesker was initially confusing, but still great! Loved the graphics too. I eventually brought Code: Veronica X cheap solely for the new Wesker cutscenes, and wasn’t disappointed… it was the same game, but with new Wesker cutscenes…

4 Star Game Old

Thoughts Now:

RE Code Veronica 3

This was the best moment for me. Chris and Wesker fighting again, and the latter with weird eyes to boot!

Code Veronica is an odd one. It’s still classic Resi, which mean having to get re-used to the tank controls, but the visuals have a unique look to them, and I do enjoy the story. I guess I’d rank it somewhere in the middle, no great nostalgia for me to ignore certain faults, but enough fun to not take away from the experience too much…

3 Star Game New

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